Nothing says summer like ice-cream covered faces. But we’re betting every kid in town is having the same craving, and as the days get longer, so does the line at your local ice cream shop. We suggest ditching the crowds and serving up some scoops yourself with a sweet ice cream play date. In addition to making your kids’ day, you’ll get to make memories to last long after the last bite of cone has been crunched. Read on to find out how to throw the perfect ice cream playdate, and be inspired by the slideshows we created with our friends in a snap using the RealTimes app!

The Location
Big backyards (in close proximity to the freezer) are the obvious choice—the chocolate and vanilla of venues. But this could be the perfect time to set up in your local park (the starwberry balsamic of play date spots, maybe?), where kids can run and spin off that sugar high while exploring a new locale. We chose the San Francisco Botanical Gardens because they meet a few important criteria: There’s a pretty, spacious lawn for picnicking; there is no playground in sight (playgrounds mean lots of other kids who can detect ice cream and sprinkles from a mile away. Unless you plan on bringing enough to feed the neighborhood, a more secluded place is better); there are literally acres of trails, paths and forests for them to explore; and finally, it’s pretty much impossible to take a bad photo against such a gorgeous backdrop. (We used the RealTimes app to create fun slideshow combining all of our pictures and videos)

The Set-Up
The thought of hauling in your own sundae set-up may make you want to melt, but if you keep it simple, it can be as easy as any normal playdate. Ask each parent to bring a topping, and minimize the trash by packing a couple sturdy bowls, spoons and cups. We teamed up with Mrs. Peasy, a local party in a box purveyor who threw together a no-fuss crate filled with everything we needed: picnic blankets, bowls, napkins, spoons and even cute mason jars for water.

The Supplies
Ice cream may be the star, but it’s the supporting characters that really make an ice cream play date shine. We went with whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate sauce and dye-free maraschino cherries. For the ice cream, we dropped by our favorite scoop shop, La Copa Loca, before the afternoon rush and picked our six favorite flavors. Most shops can fill pints or even half pints with your flavors of choice. We went with smaller containers and a bigger variety of flavors. We even scored half-a-dozen waffle cones. To transport the ice cream, we just used a couple of the countless insulated lunch bags we had laying around the house, paired with a cooling pack. Once at the park, we stashed the cooler in a shady spot, and never suffered any ice cream soup catastrophes.

And Don’t Forget to Take Pictures!
We had five photo-happy moms at our playdate, and all the slurping and strawberry-covered smiles had us snapping ourselves silly. Because we were all using the RealTimes photo story creation app, we were able to easily combine all of our best shots to create a handful of slideshows that capture the whole sweet experience. The best part? Because we were able to share photos with each other seamlessly, our slideshows actually included pictures of us moms, too! Try the free app for yourself by downloading it here. And happy scooping!

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Do you have any tips on pulling off an extra sweet play date this summer? Let us know in the comments below! 

—Erin Feher

Images by Anna Chiu, Vanessa Wauchope Walstead, Terra Andrews, Jennine Jacobs (aka Mrs. Peasy) and Erin Feher


Bring your memories to life with RealTimes. Easily create montage Stories from your photos and videos. With RealTimes you can customize these Stories with your own music and titles, and share them with friends and family either privately or through social media. RealTimes also lets you safely store all of your media and Stories in a secure cloud that you can access from any device or computer, anytime – your moments are always with you. Share your moments, tell your story.